A recent Enterprise Ireland expo on Innovation and the Petfood Market heard how changing household patterns and global trends towards the increased ‘humanisation’ of pets, all point to increased opportunities for innovative Irish petfood companies. Enterprise Ireland Market Advisers from USA, France, Germany and Nordics presented market data that confirms that the petfood sector is highly dynamic, well internationalised, and playing in a fast growing global marketplace. The opportunities for increasing added value and sales are immense, which will only be sustained in the coming years by intensive innovation.
There is a growing interest in pet nutrition and well-being due to the increasing acceptance of pets as one of the family. This has led to an increase in the amount that consumers are willing to spend on their pets, with a higher demand for premium priced products and additional products geared towards pets’ wellbeing, rather than the simple provision of a meal solution.
Human food consumer trends, such as the demand for functional foods and organic food, are in turn making their way into the pet food market, while NPD is also focusing on pet health as owners become more aware and knowledgeable about their pets welfare.
USA and Western Europe are the most developed markets and generated sales of petfoods of more than $25b each in 2014. The total UK market was valued at €2.5 billion – France and Germany are of the same magnitude. These near markets are characterised by a high level of value and price segmentation, offering opportunities for value-led brands as well as premium niche brands. Market segmentation, petstore chains and private label all provide opportunity. Product and packaging NPD (new product development), such as the introduction of dry complete dog food and single-serve cat food trays, have underlined the importance of NPD to the pet food market.
The Petfood Global Team has as its no. 1 priority to influence our clients to radically accelerate market-led innovation. Enterprise Ireland has funded a third level/industry research programme on functional petfoods, and is working with the industry and the research community to exploit the potential for innovation in the sector. A National Pavilion at the Interzoo 2016 Trade Fair in Nuremberg will be organised by Enterprise Ireland.
Enterprise Ireland provides a network of petfood specialist market advisers in all key markets, including UK, Germany, France, Benelux, Nordics, Iberia, US, Canada and Australia. Annual workshops and inward buyer visits help the sector to stay on top of developments in a dynamic industry which goes from strength to strength.